National Eating Disorders Association
Blog

While reflecting on this past World Eating Disorders Action Day (June 2, 2018), I realized how much I love the word “action.” It’s about doing what we can to make a difference. On a personal level, when I think about action against eating disorders, I think about self-care. 

Self-care is a practice of sitting with discomfort. It is more than a manicure, a massage, or even therapy and meditation. What lies behind all these acts of self-care that we deem so estimable? Why are these acts so difficult, and at times painful to practice, for some of us? 

My anxiety started with dress shopping. I secretly hoped for a fantasy moment of bridal beauty, to pull on something slinky and white and glow. Instead, the saleslady shook her head at the sample size dress and my, well, non-sample-size body. “I think we might be able to get this on you,” she said, which sounded like a threat. It took her all her might to wrestle the dress around me, and the result wasn’t pretty.

It's easy to feel like you’re in disarray when your space feels cluttered. Do a quick tidy-up. Throw all clothes in a hamper, wash the dishes in the sink, and make sure everything is in its place! Even if you just take the time to straighten the piles of paper mounting on your desk, it's a start, and will make you feel so much more at peace. 

Set a timer. 

When you set timers, you have dedicated a certain amount of time to solely focus on the task at hand. It's amazing how much you can get done in 20 minutes!

Make your space cozy. 

The calendar tells us it is summer, over halfway through the year, and months past the post-holidays and New Year’s intentions that were going to change your life.

I invite you to pause and recognize that YOU are enough, at this very moment. 

No pressure to do more, or make radical, unrealistic changes.

What do you really love?

This summer, notice how nature embraces the changing of seasons. 

How do you embrace the coming seasons?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is more common than most people realize. In a culture obsessed with appearance, internalizing feelings of shame about body size and shape are all too common. The stereotypes and weight stigma associated with BED have a severe impact on both physical and mental health. To make matters worse, the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry works to further idealize the need to look a certain way and fosters patterns of disordered eating. The need for evidence-based treatments is key to effective, lasting BED recovery.

We’ve reached the time of year when, even more so than usual, we’re bombarded with messages saying our bodies aren’t good enough as is; and that to feel confident and have a wonderful summer we need to look a certain way or weigh X pounds. For so long I thought that was true, and every year I became frustrated when my body never looked like the ideal bikini body that we see plastered all across the media.

Eating disorders are a collection of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are not just weight and food related but also include disordered thoughts about health. This creates rigidity or chaos that impacts quality of life and perpetuates the striving for “healthy” ideals--which then borders on disordered. As the aggregate of thoughts and behaviors become driven, automated, or compulsive, there is initially a loss of vitality and spontaneity replaced by rigidity. At the very least, this creates eating disordered thoughts and behaviors and, at worst, it precipitates an eating disorder. 

Social media is a great tool for connecting with others. However, it can also be a dangerous space for people with eating disorders. 

This is a cheat-sheet to help you: 

  • Help a friend struggling with an eating disorder on social media. 
  • Be a positive role model on social media.  
  • Responsibly share a personal story of an eating disorder to the public

HOW TO HELP A FRIEND STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER ON SOCIAL MEDIA  

Disordered eating is when your food, weight, and/or body size lead to strict eating and exercise habits then threaten your health, safety, and happiness. While most people think they’ve got it under control, these habits can quickly progress and lead to an eating disorder – which can be life threatening – so it’s never too early to talk to someone and ask for help.  

Don’t try to do this alone -- talking to someone you trust can provide the comfort, support, and direction you need. Opening up can be tough, but these guidelines can help make it easier. 

Pages